Ellen here, happy to welcome back my friend – and neighbor – Nancy Cole Silverman. Yes, neighbor! Nancy and I only live a few blocks from each other and do power walks on a weekly basis where we hash out life and writing issues. We both love it. Anyway, Nancy has dropped by today to talk about The House That Vanity Built, the second book in her Misty Dawn Mysteries. Nancy, the e-floor is yours…
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get – Reading?
Most of us are familiar with the old axiom, ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough get
Going,’ or some variation of it. Insert whatever word you like; Shopping, Weird. Name one. But for me, when the going gets tough, I turn to a good book. So, when I sat down to write the first of the new Misty Dawn Mysteries, I was hoping I might offer some form of escapism for both myself and my readers, and Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood psychic to the stars, and her sidekick shade Wilson Thorne seemed just the thing.
I had pulled Misty from the pages of my Carol Childs Mysteries, which take place present-day, inside of a busy Los Angeles newsroom. Misty, an aging hippie, had arrived in L.A. back in the sixties in an old flower-painted Volkswagon bus, selling love potions. Remember those? Flash forward fifty years and Misty’s former clientele that included the likes of Liz Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and a president’s wife who had Misty’s number on speed dial, and our heroine has fallen on hard times. Consequently, Misty was living under Carol’s roof until a client offered Misty her brother’s home. Enter the recently deceased Wilson Thorne, a set designer, who doesn’t understand he had died and needs Misty’s help to move on.
All pretty surreal, right? And great for escapism.
The problem being, I knew nothing about psychics, nor do I believe in them. But Misty wouldn’t leave me alone. So, being a former journalist, I decided I would interview a few local mediums. Not to be read by them mind you, but to ask who it is they read for and what were the more common questions asked. I came away with more than I had hoped to learn and lots of ideas.
The books, of which there will be three, basically wrote themselves. The ideas, once I gave myself over to Misty and Wilson, refused to be denied. Try as I might to go in a different direction with a plotline or ideas of my own, and passages—entire scenes even—would refuse to budge, and on more than one occasion disappeared from the page. Like packman eating the letters across the screen, words vanished right in front of my eyes. Creepy, right?
One reviewer, upon reading the first book in the series, The House on Hallowed Ground, even suggested I was channeling Thorne Smith, the creator of Topper. He believed I’d selected Wilson Thorne’s name as a subtle homage to Topper’s creator. Had I?
If I had channeled Thorne Smith, I’d no idea. Only that each book has led to more research and startling finds than I had anticipated. While the first book led me to interview psychics, book two, THE HOUSE THAT VANITY BUILT, led me to research bees and the effects of bee pollen. Did you know bee venom is a popular additive in cosmetics, considered by some to be the new botox? Or that it’s possible, as Misty would say, to milk a bee for its venom?
It’s all great escapism, with my hope to bring readers joy during this stressful time.
So, how dear readers, have you been? And what form of escapism have you allowed yourself during these stressful times?
Synopsis: Misty Dawn, a former Hollywood psychic to the stars, knows the dark and sometimes glamorous streets of Los Angeles are full of secrets, broken promises, and dashed hopes. When a young woman comes to her door because she’s lost her engagement ring and is afraid to tell her fiancé (the son of one of the world’s biggest cosmetics empires), Misty senses it’s no accident. Together Misty Dawn and her psychic charge, Wilson Thorne, must not only sneak behind the walls of the Conroy Estate (aka The House That Vanity Built), but go beyond the veil where the luminaries have laid plans to seek revenge. Murder, lust, and a quest for a fountain of youth are hidden inside a family’s secret, one that threatens to upend the young woman’s life, and quite possibly, Misty’s.
BIO: After twenty-five years in news and talk radio, Nancy Cole Silverman retired to write fiction. Silverman has two series with Henery Press, THE CAROL CHILDS MYSTERIES, featuring a single mom who works as an investigative reporter, and the MISTY DAWN MYSTERIES, centered on an aging Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, and her sidekick shade Wilson, a former Hollywood set designer. She also has written and produced numerous short stories, some of which are available on her website; www.nancycolesilverman.com. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and thoroughly pampered standard poodle, Ali.